*Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Being a HUGE fan of Juliet and having read and enjoyed all of her previous works, I was really excited about reading this book. It’s the second installment in the Tarrin’s Bay series and one of the 2014 books I was most excited about.
I was soooo happy to be back to Tarrin’s bay, that beautiful, magical place also known as The Town of New Beginnings. Though I enjoyed the first part, ‘January Wish’, I must admit I enjoyed this part so much more. It’s not only beautifully written, I also got to connect with the MC more.
Chrissie Burns is going through a rough period, she’s recently divorced, taking care of her little son and just moved to Tarrin’s Bay. She works as a yoga instructor in a fab and luxurious health retreat, and really loves her job. She’s beyond excited (and oh so nervous) when she finds us she’s given a special, VIP client to work with, gorgeous Drew Williams. Drew is not only a multiple Grammy award-winning artist, he’s also drop dead gorgeous. Yet, despite being so famous, he’s such a down-to-earth person everyone can talk to. Drew is living in LA but is back to his Tarrin’s Bay, where he was born and raised, for a one month visit. Now, both Chrissie and Drew haven’t been much lucky when it comes to love and relationship..but this February, anything could be possible.
I totally loved this book! I’ll admit, it took off to a slow start but once the story got deeper and more complex, I found myself flipping through the pages craving for more. The romance part is gradually built and wonderfully written, and Drew and Chrrisie are such lovable characters. Honestly, I’m not the one to drool over fictional heroes, but man..Drew really won my heart. He’s gorgeous, successful, yet such a friendly, kind, family guy. It was really nice to read about a normal celebrity for a change. Usually, authors portray them as hard to get and arrogant (well, maybe because most of the celebrities in real life are like that), but still…I really enjoyed that, the fact Drew is not full of rage, or arrogance, but is instead so respectful to everyone. Now all of THIS makes him a true romance hero for me!
Chrissie is equally lovable, she’s such a mature character (despite having some issues). She’s a great mom and really really tries hard in raising her son. So, this is not just another romance story (though, there’s a strong romance element in it), it’s actually deeper than that. It’s about love, family, fighting your fears, and believing in yourself and others.
As much as I expected an enjoyable read, I must add Juliet surprised me with this story. It exceeded all my expectations and left me craving for me. It’s a wonderful story that will leave a huge smile on your face. I definitely can’t wait to read more in this series.
My rating: 4/5
Thanks to lovely Juliet, we have an e-copy of ‘February or Forever’ to give away to one lucky blog-reader. The giveaway is open internationally and closes on March 25th. The winner will be contacted by e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize by responding to our e-mail. In case we don’t hear from them in 48 h, we’ll have to pick another winner. This Chick Reads is not responsible for the delivering of your prize. This giveaway is sponsored by Juliet Madison. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck!
*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
WHAT? Surprised I’m still reading Christmas books? Well don’t be, because I really don’t care if it’s February, July or December. I can read Christmas books all year round. Especially if they are written by Sarah Morgan! Last year I read Sleigh Bells in the Snow and I absolutely fell in love with Sarah’s writing, so when I was asked to review this book, I really couldn’t be happier. There’s something so warm, so comforting in reading Christmas books, no wonder I’m so addicted to them.
Once Upon a Christmas is indeed a light and feel-good festive read with all essential elements a good Christmas book should have. The cover is stunning and the writing is wonderful. What I found most interesting is the fact it’s divided into two parts, telling two stories but they are well connected. The first story is about Bryony and Jack and the second one is centered around Bryony’s brother Oliver and her good friend Helen. So that’s a really strong connecting and both stories flow, perfectly intertwined around these 4 characters.
The two stories are a bit different, of course because these couples are different, so you might end up liking one better than the other. In my case, I wasn’t really fascinated with Jack as a character, I hated the fact he called Bryony ‘Blondie’ and really found it so irritating at times. But him and Bryony do share a long history, the fact they know each other for 20 years. Yet I didn’t like him calling her that way, it just seemed a bit disrespectful, but Jack is Jack…once you get to know him, you’ll realize he doesn’t have bad intentions, and is really fond of Bryony and her sweet daughter.
Helen and Oliver were a completely different story. While Bryony is trying really hard to find a man, Helen is doing everything but. She’s been very hurt in the past, so I could really understand her fears. But Helen and Oliver seemed more likable couple and I enjoyed their story more.
As usual when it comes to Sarah, the romance part was well and gradually built and the chemistry between her characters is electrifying. Bryony’s little girl was such a sweetie and her wish to have a dad for Christmas brought me nearly to tears.
Overall, this was a fun and enjoyable read. It reads really fast, it’s fun and has lots of romance. So, if you’re looking for an enjoyable read with lots of romance that will keep you warm on this cold winter days, this is the perfect book for you.
My rating: 3.5/5
I was really looking forward to reading this book for many reasons. First off, my twitter feed throughout November was full of great comments about it, secondly, the sparkly reviews from my friends/chick lit bloggers whose judgments I absolutely trust.
With Christmas being just around the corner, I thought it was the perfect time to read this Christmassy read and boy oh boy did I have high expectations.
But you know what? Not only was I not disappointed in Alexandra’s writing but this book actually exceeded all my expectations. ‘Christmas at Carrington’s’ is the sequel to ‘Cupcakes at Carrington’s’ but it can be easily read as a stand alone too. We get together with Georgie, Sam and Eddie again and see what lies in store for them (no pun intended).
Carrington’s is a family firm spanning 3 generations and a store everyone in Mullberry-On-Sea feel connected to. The customers are treated with respect and addressed by name and the staff is like one big happy family.
Well, at least it was before Kelly Cooper and her cameras enter the picture. The idea of setting a reality show in a department store is really brilliant, I personally find it very unique. It does give the story a whole new dimension. Literally over night, Georgie who’s running the Women’s Accessories section in Carrington’s becomes a celebrity and a national TV star. Of course, at first she doesn’t enjoy being so exposed and loudly objects the idea of turning a well respected and traditional store into a TV circus, but soon she starts to get into this whole glamorous life. She even gets to write a fashion column, something she always wanted to do. But fame has a price, right? Georgie is really a wonderful character, and despite being thrown in many awkward situations, she is pretty down-to-earth and positive person. Everyone would love to have her as a BFF, she’s nice, kind, caring and full of understanding. I cheered for her, I laughed with her, I sympathized with her, she’s definitely a memorable character everyone would love.
I loved the romance elements which fitted the story perfectly. Tom Carrington is gorgeous, smart, sexy..simply breath taking. BUT what I enjoyed the most was the friendship between Georgie and Sam. I could feel they deeply care for each other and support each other no matter what. This is not a sad book, it’s actually very fun and uplifting, but there’s few scenes in the book where I literally cried like a baby, I was that emotionally invested. I totally DIDN’T expect to cry, but it was stronger than me really. These scenes are pretty powerful and well written (and address a more serious topic), and give the book a deeper dimension. I’m sure many women out there will understand what I say, once they read this book.
Overall, this is definitely a great and enjoyable book. It will get you in a festive mood super speedy, make you laugh and deeply care about these fantastic characters, and flip through pages to see what will happen to Georgie and if she’s gonna get her HEA. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am certainly looking forward to part 3, which I heard will be released in June 2014. Full of sparkle and heart, this is a must read for all chick lit and romance fans.
My rating: 4/5
Named after Olson twin, Mary Kate is chasing her dream to work in the TV industry. But bills need to be paid, so she takes a job as an assistant to the general manager of TATS-Total Access Total Sports in hope to transfer to BH Network, and get her dream job. Stucked with making copies for the boss, she meets William Cumberland, British Media Mogul, who recenly bought a part of TATS. Now, he is her new boss, and she is his personal assistant.
Mary Kate is not looking for a relationship. The previous ones ended badly, so she tries to focus on her carrier as well. The last thing she wants to be is like her mother and sister. She loves them both very much, but there is more to life than being married and having children. A woman can have her own career too, doesn’t have to give up anything.
William stays away from relationships too. He’s had enough of women who are after him only for his money. Money that he earned by working very hard. Raised in family where parents had their two sons just to say that they have a family, he decides not to be like them, not to have a family without love. But when he meets Mary Kate, the walls he built around himself start to fall.
I loved both Mary Kate and William as characters. I loved their texts which they were sending to each other all the time, their support for each other, the way they chose gifts for each other. The romance between MK and WC (they sign their texts with initials) is so cute and innocent. They are just so adorable as a couple.
Baring in mind this is a debut, I have to say Ms. Ellis did an amazing job. She points out the differences between the Americans and the English in such a lovely way, while not offending either of the sides. Just to mention, Mary Kate is American and William is English.
I really enjoyed reading this lovely romantic story. It’s pretty much a modern version of Cinderella, handsome prince included. Ms. Ellis is definitely an author to watch out for and I’m already looking forward to her next books. Speaking of which, I wonder when is a new one coming out. Let’s hope it’ll be soon.
My rating: 4.5/5
And BOOM! Juliette does it again! Once again she made me fall in love with her characters and writing, not to mention the french hottie all of you will love.
This is not the best way to start a review? Excuse me? Have you ever read a book you thoroughly enjoyed? YES? Have you ever felt so immersed in a story you actually thought you’re one of the characters? You have? Have you felt so so sad once you’ve finished it and were craving for more? Aha! Then my friends, you completely understand me.
But then, you also understand my fears that my review is not gonna be good enough, that I won’t appear eloquent enough to express just how much I loved this book.
However, I’m gonna try, I really will try hard. So here we go..
Juliette Sobanet won my heart and became one of my favorite authors after I read her debut ‘Sleeping with Paris’ 2 years ago. It took her just one book to get on that list, and mind you, I’m not someone who gives 5* easily or uses the word ‘favorite’ that often. When I was given this book for a review, of course I was thrilled but nervous too, because I really had high expectations and I definitely wasn’t ready for a disappointment. Now, after reading it, I can only say this one is even better than her debut (and am really sorry I can’t give it more than 5 stars).
Chloe is getting married in a week, but her boss from hell tells her she needs to go to Paris on a business trip to back her up because she’s sick. Of course, Chloe feels like she doesn’t have a choice, she loves her job as an event planner and she’s absolutely sure she’s gonna be laid off if she doesn’t go to Paris. It’s just couple of days actually, and she’d still have enough time to get home in time for the wedding (and before her family and fiance strangle each other).
But all does NOT go to plan. What’s supposed to be a very brief stay and easy task turns into an international incident (well kind of). Police and agents get involved too. Lots of running, chasing, action and of course ROMANCE. Chloe thinks she only lost her passport and money in Paris, but could it be she’s also losing her mind over absolutely yummy and charming Julien?
I think I said more than enough about the plot to get your interest. It’s fast paced and I promise you won’t be bored even for a minute. I kept flipping through the pages intrigued to find out what will happen next. Is Chloe gonna ever leave Paris? Will they arrest her? Will she make it to her own wedding? Lots of action and twist and turns you won’t expect.
Chloe is such a lovable character. I could feel all her insecurities, her dilemmas, her fears. I cheered for her, I wanted her to have her HEA because she really deserved it. To be quite honest, I really can’t say if I liked Chloe or Julien more. Julien is an amazing guy, someone everyone would drool over. He’s protective (in a good way), caring, funny, gorgeous…AND FRENCH! I shall quote Juliette here “Seems that French man are a different bread!”
As much as I loved the romance part I admit I was literally blown away by the friendship between Chloe’s mother and Magali from Paris and their history. I totally didn’t expect to cry, but I did. It’s a fantastic story within a story, giving the book a completely new dimension and depth.
It really is a page turner and am wholeheartedly recommending it to anyone! You’ll love it I’m sure.
My rating: 5/5
“There’s a place in my heart that forever is free
for the person you made me, who I long to be
there is a place in my soul that forever is gold
where time has no meaning and we grow no old”
Gabriela was working in her home office. She could see the green from her window. And there on the bench there was always a couple of elderly people. Always holding their hands together. But one day they weren’t there, nor the day after. Couple of days later, Gabriela saw the woman, alone. The old man wasn’t there, they weren’t holding their hands anymore. Curiosity killed the cat, so Gabriela took two cups of hot tea and went to see the old woman, to talk to her. She wasn’t prepared for that love story that melted her heart.
Isobel and James met when they were teenagers. Soon they started dating. They were together, no matter what. They were there for each other to heal eachother’s wounds. Isobel’s father got sick and after a short period of time died. Her mother was left all alone with small children, she got a job in a different town so they had to move. The entire world crashed down for Isobel, but James was there. They were exploring the world together. They were exploring sex together. And then James started to change. He became very jellous, very angry, very nervous. He cheated. The relationship was over. Isobel left, and soon after that James was diagnosed with brain tumor. His bad attitude was a consequence of the tumor.
Did the story intrigue you?
If you think that I revealed too much, you are wrong. It is just the beginning of the story. A story of ups and downs in life, of finding true love and keeping it save from the storm. Isobel and James’ story reminded me of that beautiful love story in “Notebook”. Their love survived through years, survived many separations and reunions. It wasn’t just story about everlasting love, it was a story for living the life, enjoying every single day you have.
My only complaint would be the graphic sex. I know that teenage sex is not taboo these days, nor I dislike sex scenes in a books, but somehow I can’t help but feel they don’t actually fit this romantic story so well. At least that’s what I think.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I liked the author’s writing and all the characters. This is really an excellent debut, perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks and lovely romantic (even heart-breaking) stories.
My rating: 4/5
This is surely one of the best chick lit books I’ve read this year. Imagine watching your favorite rom com, best friends over, ice cream and popcorn included – well this book is BETTER. Hell, imagine a date with Ryan Gosling (yeah, I see you drooling already). Well you know what? THIS BOOK is better than that!
Never ever would I tell this is a debut, it’s brilliant from every possible aspect.
The story is amazing and keeps your interest till the very last page. It follows Evie Hart, a 27 year old journalist who’s never been in love. Of course, she’s had few short term relationships, but she never felt those butterflies we all get when we’re in love. But that all changes one day when she’s invited to be a bridesmaid to a friends’ wedding and meets handsome Jack.
I love weddings but it’s a fact they are stressful. But what happens when you get to be a bridesmaid not to one, but three weddings? Well Evie sure handles it well, though of course not everything goes smoothly.
There are so many reasons why I loved this book. I’m gonna start with the writing style, which I absolutely LOVED. Though it’s an easy read, the short chapters made it even easier to follow. The humor just adds to it, I was laughing so hard my face still hurts. Just the thought of some of the funny situations Evie finds herself into makes me laugh again and again.
Evie is definitely memorable, she’s a character I will never forget. She’s funny, sarcastic at times, and she feels real. She’s fun and easy going, and above all she’s a darn good friend.
Which brings me to another thing – this is not just a romantic comedy, though there’s a fair share of romance in it, this is also a book about friendship. The bridesmaids, all of them, are so different yet you can’t help but love them. The bond between these girls is so strong, and they do try very hard to overcome every problem that goes their way. But of course, my favorite girl was Evie, loyal and always with a good advice for her girls.
And finally, a good rom com would be nothing without a strong, handsome, witty male character the heroine would flip over. Jack is amazing and someone that will win your hearts instantly. Not just because he’s handsome (do I seem that shallow to you?*cough*) but because he’s fun, smart, kind and you know…a gentleman. Yeah, that’s the word!
I admit some parts felt predictable, but nevertheless I enjoyed the story completely. I was surprised with the epilogue (no, I’m not gonna tell you why) but I was really happy with how things turn out in the end, not only for Evie but for all of her friends. There’s just one thing that disappointed me – Charlotte. When she was introduced in the book I swear to God I thought it would be a character I would understand the most (because of her weight problem), but some stuff happens (again, no spoilers no no no) and she really really disappointed me. But this just makes the characters more real, because whether we admit it or not, we all have flaws. And even our best friends – they have too.
I could go on and on about this book forever, but it all goes down to this – THIS IS A MUST READ! I don’t care if you’re a chick lit fan or not, this is a great book and you’re missing a lot for not reading it. I’m a pretty down-to-earth person (yes, just like Evie) and I would never ever make a fool out of myself for screaming in public (in this case the internet) but *screams* JUST READ THIS BOOK – NOOOOOOOOOW!!!
Now I’m off to another by Costello, ‘The Nearly Weds’, hip hip HOORAY!:)
My rating: 5/5
This is not the first novella by Juliet Madison that I have read. Few weeks ago I read and reviewed ‘I Dream of Johnny‘ (Read my review here) and as you can see I really really enjoyed it. Naturally, I was thrilled to get an arc of ‘Starstruck in Seattle’ from NetGalley and I won’t lie – I had high expectations.
I’m not the biggest fan of novellas, because either
1. I strongly dislike it cause I feel the author didn’t have enough space/time to express him/herself in so little pages, or
2. I do like it so much and wish there were more pages to it, but since it’s a short read I end up frustrated saying good bye to the characters.
But Juliet Madison is a great author, and she sure CAN write interesting short reads. Even in this one, there was a lot of meat to the story (despite being really short). Don’t get me wrong, I did like it (hence the 3.5* rating), however I didn’t love it as much as I loved ‘I dream of Johnny’
The plot is centered around Anna Hilford, an aspiring actress who’s waiting for her big break on the TV screens. She’s talented and good at her job, but there’s always something lacking, right? Well, she’s had enough of being single, so she seeks the help of Lulu, a Love Guru who’s supposed to tell her who her soul mate is and when she will meet him.
Let’s get something straight, Anna is a loveable character however she’s not that memorable. As much as I love Juliet Madison’s writing style, I think she definitely could have created a stronger or more memorable leading character.
However, the romance part was great and I love how things turned up in the end. Speaking about the ending, I swear to God I had no idea things will go that way. (Sorry, not gonna spoil it for you, you’ll have to read for yourself to find out). But I’m just gonna say, if you love HEAs I think you will definitely be pleased and I’m 100% sure you will enjoy it.
Sometimes you wish for that other half so much, and yet it seems like you will never find it. And sometimes life has unexpected turn of events and a different plan for you. But magic happens only to those who believe, so tell me now…Do you believe in Magic?
This sure is a sweet and enjoyable read, and a short one too. So I really don’t see a reason for not checking it out. Especially if you’re a fan of romance and HEAs.
My rating: 3.5/5
*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
I actually thought of reviewing this book on Friday 13th, but that would’ve been weird in a way. WHY?
Well, the story in this book starts on the very Friday 13th, when Alice Fletcher finds herself in quite a strange situation. While driving, she sees a wrecked car by the road, and an absolutely gorgeous stranger next to it. Could it be she escaped a car accident just in few seconds? Why is this gorgeous man not calling the police? And why does he seem so familiar to her?
Very soon after exchanging few lines with him, she discovers what exactly happened to him and where she has seen this handsome guy before.
Jimmy Mack is a celebrity, a famous TV presenter admired by everyone in the UK. Alice still can’t believe how on earth it is possible that their paths can cross, especially in this strange situation.
But soon she finds out that Jimmy passed away in the accident and she’s actually talking to (and seeing..eekkk) a ghost.
So, what’s Alice’s role in all of this? She’s the one that’s supposed to help him cross over.
This really was an interesting read.Despite the paranormal aspects present, I wouldn’t classify it as paranormal or paranormal romance. The plot was somewhat original, at least from my POV, but it really reminded me of Sophie Kinsella’s ‘Twenties Girl’, because of the ghost part of course.
For the most part, I really enjoyed the book. It’s an easy read and there were some very cute romance scenes. However, I had some issues with it.
But, I’m gonna start with the things I liked. The characters – I liked Alice (liked – not loved), though at times I really couldn’t figure her out. Her reactions sometimes were just so unbelievable and I was constantly asking myself – would any person on earth react like this??
But Jimmy – ahhh, Jimmy is AH-MAZING. I don’t usually drool over book characters, but Jimmy won my heart. I even tweeted to Ms. Steeples saying if there were more men like him in real life, the world would be a better place. You see, Jimmy might seem even too good to be true, but who cares, I loved him nevertheless. He’s sweet, gentle, a true gentleman who respects women.
There’s a twist by the end of the book, that took me completely by surprise, and I’m not gonna lie – I expected a different ending. I’m not saying that the ending is bad, it’s just I definitely didn’t expect that turn of events.
There were some lines in the book, that almost brought tears in my eyes, they were that emotional. But it’s not a sad book, don’t worry.
And now for the dislikes: The pacing is way too slow for my taste. I wish there was more going on in the book, or maybe if there were more twists or characters introduced..I don’t know, but at times the book seemed too slow.
The paranormal aspect – as much as I enjoyed it, I didn’t buy some of the stuff. Like, Alice is the only one who can see Jimmy, ok I get that. But then, she’s talking to him and even dancing with him, and no one around her finds that strange? I really don’t buy this!
Listen, it could be some error of which Ms. Steeples was not aware of before publishing, or maybe I misunderstood some parts, but I think that these scenes needed to be ‘polished’ a bit, because some (if not all) readers will find them hard to believe. The romance seemed also very strange, very unrealistic. Yes, I know falling in love with a ghost IS unrealistic, but still, I didn’t get those love vibes from Alice. I didn’t ‘feel’ she’s madly in love with Jimmy, though she says so.
Overall and despite the remarks I just mentioned, this was a cute and easy read. If you’re a fan of chick lit I definitely advise you to check it out. I would love to hear your thoughts on it, so do comment.
My rating: 3.5/5
Now, this was a FUN read! I had a strong feeling I will like it ever since I read the blurb. And I’m glad I was right. But I must admit, I was a bit worried if I will like it because of its format. The ENTIRE book is written in the form of e-mails. So far, I’ve just read one book in this format, and to be frank, I hated it!
And for a while, I actually thought I hated that particular book because of the format. But oh no, after reading “Click” i found out that I actually have no problem if the entire book is written in the form of e-mail correspondence. Lisa Becker pulled this off, and created a fun, entertaining story with hilarious characters.
*Applauds to author*
The story is centered around Renee and her search for Mr. Right on the internet. It was Mark, one of her best friends, who told her she should give this online dating a go and provided her all the best online dating sites (Mark is such an OCD as you see).
But who said online dating is easier than real dating (and less humiliating if it doesn’t work out) is one big fat lair. OMG, the guys..the guys!!! Some of them were just hilarious.
I must admit I was not a huge fan of Renee, I mean I did root for her in her search for the ONE, but as much as her friends said she’s awesome and a-girl-every-guy-would-die-for (SUPERMODEL RENEE!!!) I couldn’t really picture her like that. She seemed not too confident, so she needed a constant reminder from her friends about how great she is, and let me tell you, after few pages (e-mails) this started to annoy me a bit.
But, Shelley..oh Shelley is a maneater! But she’s hilarious, reminded me a LOT of Samantha from “Sex and the City” series, and if you ask me, Samantha was the star..not Carrie. I know, I know, she seems slutty, but she was so funny, so out spoken, so…wild!!!
Now that I think of this series and make comparisons to this book, I realize I would enjoy this book more if the story was centered around Shelley…she and her Cuddlers, Toddlers, even while writing this review I can’t help but smile.
Mark was great, but we don’t get to see him that much in this book (maybe there will be more about him in the sequel), and Ashley was…meh…I really didn’t care about her. She is too judgmental and weak.
Overall, this was a fun book! It’s such a quick read, you will read it in just couple of hours. If you’re looking for a light hearted, beach read, that will make you laugh out loud, no need to look any further.
I’m most definitely looking forward to the sequel, Double Click and am so glad I discovered another awesome chick lit author.
My rating: 3.5/5